(Adds share prices, background on transaction)
WASHINGTON May 30 Forest Laboratories Inc
, which itself is in the process of being acquired, has
won U.S. antitrust approval to buy Furiex Pharmaceuticals Inc
, the Federal Trade Commission said on Friday.
Forest, in the process of being bought by Actavis Plc
, had said on April 28 that it would buy Furiex for up to
$1.46 billion, adding a promising treatment for irritable bowel
syndrome to its gastrointestinal drugs portfolio.
The deal was on a list of approved transactions that the FTC
releases several times a week.
Forest said it expected Furiex's lead drug, eluxadoline, to
be "very complementary" to its own bowel drug, Linzess.
Eluxadoline is being developed to treat diarrhea-predominant
irritable bowel syndrome and was found to significantly
alleviate symptoms of the disease in two large late-stage
Shares in Forest Labs were up about 0.2 percent in
late-morning U.S. trading, with Furiex up about 0.8 percent.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Ros Krasny)